Anthem Cut the Crap (Finally)

By Karen

After nearly 3 months, Anthem has approved my cheaper policy. It essentially rolls back my premium two years in exchange for me shouldering more out-of-pocket expenses. I don’t know if I’ll really come out ahead in the end, but right now I’m betting on continued good health.

Anthem put me at premium Level 2. Level 1 would have been cheaper, but here’s how that works:

In 2003 when I first applied, I took no medications and my health was nearly perfect for someone my age. Anthem made me Level 2 by dredging up an old stress fracture in my toe from too much ballroom dancing and a few other one-time things.

In other words, unless you’re 18 and have never seen a doctor in your life, you’ll never qualify for Level 1.

This time my Level 2 rating was for my “unoperated hiatal hernia.” That means it gives me no trouble and requires no treatment – but unoperated sounds scarier.

Anthem explains (bold emphasis is theirs), “Even if you are currently healthy and have no immediate health problems, your chances of needing medical care are greater than someone who does not have similar health conditions or lifestyle characteristics.”

They’re referring, of course, to someone who is already dead.

Apparently, that was the best they could do, since my harmless freckle and a blood pressure reading in the 120s over 80s didn’t pan out as crises.

They were so relentless about digging into my records, I really expected a bump into Level 3 to end up paying even more for less coverage. That’s how individual health insurance works.

So I’ll be saving $110 a month at least until December when they hit me with another huge rate hike and I’m back where I started.

I’m 12 years from qualifying for Medicare. If insurance companies are allowed to continue reaching for the moon for profits, at some point I could join the 47 million Americans who can’t get or afford coverage unless I find some employer to cover me.

Politicians of both parties, please, please, please end this nightmare. Passing HR 676, the universal healthcare bill that’s been sitting under your noses since 2005, would be a good place to start.

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4 Responses to Anthem Cut the Crap (Finally)

  1. Tom Hagan says:

    What’s more, the health insurance cos. cost us 31% of our premium dollars for the “value” they deliver—which, as pointed out here, is all negative.

    31% of the $950 billion in premiums they collect every year. That about $350 billion per year; in ten years, well over $3 TRILLION. Enought to stagger the economy.

    For more, see “The Great Brain Robbery” at

    http://whatsnotso.blogs.com/whatsnotso/2008/03/the-great-brain.html

  2. catsworking says:

    Tom, I’ve approached the issue from a personal standpoint, but your research is compelling, particularly this figure:

    “Our broken healthcare system causes 18,000 deaths per year—far exceeding the 4000 deaths we have incurred so far in Iraq.”

    If only our media would turn its attention to revealing the inherent rottenness of our healthcare system, instead of digging up trivial dirt on public figures, public outrage would be like a snowball rolling downhill until the politicians have no choice but to regulate or eliminate health insurers to stop all the senseless waste they cause in the name of profit.

  3. Angela says:

    Gack, one of the very reasons I hate our private health-care insurance system! I hope something good happens from the reform movement.

  4. catsworking says:

    Angela, I’m with you, but my hope grows fainter every day the more I hear. Now it’s sounding like we will be footing more of the expense outside insurance premiums, and everyone will be forced to buy insurance from crooks like Anthem.

    And since nothing takes effect for FOUR years anyway when they finally vote, the Anthems and Aetnas will have PLENTY of time to gang-rape us and leave us for dead.

    And if Obama sits by and lets it happen in the name of “compromise,” I will rue the vote I gave him.

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